When typewriters were used to type essays there was a need for two spaces after the period. The font type was uniformly spaced so that the letter “i” took up the same amount of space as the letter “b.” Two spaces at the end of the sentence visually broke up the type. With modern type font on a computer where each letter only takes up as much space as it needs, the need for the extra space is not necessary.
Habits Die Hard
If you are in the habit of two spaces after the period you are likely to make this error sometimes. Even without being in the habit of two spaces, occasionally we will hit an extra space between words.
Control F on a PC (Command F on a Mac) does a FIND. Instead of typing a word into the find box, type two spaces.
Dot Dot Dot
If you are using Google Docs you will notice that there is a button with a dot dot dot icon. This allows you to open a dialogue box to replace.
In the find and replace, find two spaces and replace with one space. Replace all. I try to always do this before I submit a paper. Usually there is at least one place that I made this mistake.
7 thoughts on “Google Docs Tip: One Spacebar or Two?”
I always feel two spaces marks me as an old fogey. Thanks for this tip, Alice!
Oh, and if you’re editing a document created in Google Drive, it looks like you can do Ctrl H to get right to a “Find and Replace” dialogue box! It looks like it doesn’t work on documents imported from Word, though.WooHOO, one less step!
That is a great tip! I did not know that. THANK YOU!
Could have used this a month ago. Finally broke myself of the two space habit. But then, when writing the dissertation, I had to go back to two. Sigh. Neither have
universities caught up with the digital world when it comes to submitting dissertations.
And again. What a Luddite!
You needed 2 spaces on the dissertation? APA is one space…
Really? ONE space? I AM an Old Fogey! Ancient English teachers thank you, Alice!
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